What Is a Silent Auction and How Do They Work?

Silent auctions are often used by organizations and charities as a way to raise money for a specific cause. When most of us think of an auction, we think of a room full of people, yelling out bids on auction items being presented. A silent auction is more orderly than that.

What is a Silent Auction?

Just like a regular auction, a silent auction has a certain amount of items that guests can bid on. The items can cover a range of things including jewelry, art, destination packages, gift baskets, gift certificates, and more. During most silent auctions, the items are then placed around a room. Beside each item are written descriptions of what the item is and a bid sheet where guests can write down their bid. The highest bid at the end of the auction receives the item.

Charities and not-for-profit organizations often use silent auctions to help raise money. The items collected for the auction are often donated by businesses or people and the money raised goes directly to the non-profit or charity group. When successful, silent auctions can raise thousands of dollars, help organizations grow and get donors and attendees excited about the cause.

How Does a Silent Auction Work?

At a silent auction, each item has its own specific bid sheet where guests can write down their bids. At a traditional silent auction, most guests have their own clipboard with the bid sheets attached. There, they can write down the highest amount they would be willing to pay for each item they are interested in. Because each guest has their own clipboard and item bid sheets, they are not aware of the bids made by other guests.

Some silent auctions place the items on the table with a description of the item and a bid sheet. In that instance, guests are assigned numbers to use instead of their names. That way, bidding stays anonymous and guests feel comfortable bidding against others, even friends. Guests are allowed to bid on as many silent auction items as they want. Once the auction is closed, the items go to the individual that made the highest bid.

Why Use An Online Silent Auction App?

While silent auctions are more orderly than a traditional auction, there are still some downsides. Silent auctions usually have items spread around a small room on numerous tables. Things can often get crowded quickly, especially around items people are excited about. That means your guests might find themselves tangled up in long line-ups or having to elbow their way to the front. This takes away from the time they could be socializing with others or learning about your organization.

To address these downsides, charities are starting to take their silent auction fundraisers online! Not only does it eliminate the need for guests to stand around in long line ups, but it also keeps them engaged in your silent auction throughout the event. Taking your silent auction online helps energize your guests, raise more money for your cause and eliminates all the hang-ups a traditional silent auction has!

Bid Beacon - A Mobile-Based Auction App

Bid Beacon is an online auction app that will revolutionize the way you host your next silent auction. How it works is simple. Download the app onto your phone – or try our free trial today. Pick a bundle that fits your fundraising needs and customize as needed. Then, add your items online with a brief description and starting bid. Unsure of how to set a starting bid? Read our helpful guide on how to set starting bids at a silent auction!

Once all your items have been added, guests simply download the app and start bidding. Bid Beacon sends you detailed analytics throughout your silent auction and lets you track each item and their bids directly from your smartphone. Once the silent auction is closed, you can message guests within the app to let them know which items they received. No line-ups, no crowds, and no confusion.

Is a Silent Auction Right For Me?

Silent auctions can take time to organize and execute successfully. In the past, it would take some non-for-profit groups and charities years to collect items and organize events. Today, with the help of our free online auction app, you can create a silent auction in minutes and raise thousands of dollars for your charity!

Bid Beacon has helped hundreds of organizations, not-for-profit groups, charities, schools, sports teams, and private groups host online silent auctions successfully. Not sure if Bid Beacon is right for you? Download a free trial today or watch our free tutorial here. We’ll walk you through our easy-to-use interface and show you all the ways you can customize our app to work for your fundraising needs.

Get Started With Your Own 
Free Bid Beacon Account 

Recommended Posts